Private Room

A club-like hotel you never knew was there

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taying in the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center feels like staying at your grandmother’s house. Ornate and quiet, the hotel was opened in 1926 as the University Club and later taken over by the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, which used it as a training center before converting it to meeting space and guest rooms. It feels like the secret that it is—quiet, with graceful public spaces and competent and friendly employees. The 64 guest rooms are comfortable and comparatively large, but, like the building, are throwbacks and a little dated and worn, with dark wood furniture and creaky knobs and dials. A hip boutique hotel, this isn’t. But the location is unbeatable, and the hotel is surprisingly quiet considering it’s in the middle of this busy neighborhood; the lobby and guest rooms are above street level. Elite runners are put up here when they come here for the Boston Marathon.

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Although the iconic high-rise that looms over Copley Square is known to locals as the Hancock Tower, its official name is now simply 200 Clarendon, as the insurance company long ago moved out.

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